How To Get Compliance In Kids And Help Them Tolerate 'No'
Hey, it's Heidi Rogers here with today's Three Minute Parenting Playbook. Today I want to talk about how to get compliance and how to get your kids to tolerate when you say no.
So first thing with getting compliance is, you are way more likely to get your kids to comply if you are fun and playful and energetic and positive. When you are yelling and screaming and control, control control, it doesn't work. You know this, especially those of you that adolescents know that control definitely does not work in getting your kids to do stuff or not do stuff. So what do we want to do? Instead, we want to connect first.
If you're connected to someone, you have a much greater chance of influencing them. And that's really all we have with our kids as influence, we think we can control them, especially when they're little. We have a false sense of control through intimidation, manipulation, coercion. And as they get older, we start to go 'Oh, I actually don't have control. I can't make you do anything. If I do make you do something it's through imposing or enforcing my will or threatening you,' which is not really healthy parenting that we want to be modeling for our kids of how you interact with people by manipulating, coercing, or enforcing your will. We don't want to raise humans like that do we?
So what's the alternative? Connection, and if you connect with them, they then want to take your influence, they want to do what you want. How do you connect with them? Validating how they feel, not shaming them, empathizing with them, trying to spend one on one time with them. 10 minutes is sometimes enough for some kids, periodically throughout the day. Just having five or 10 minutes where my eyes are on you and we were looking at each other and we are engaged in playing together. That's one thing.
The other thing is you can do fun little things to get them to listen. So with my kids, I like to do accents sometimes. So I'll do like a Texan accent and I'll say, 'Come on, y'all, we gotta come inside.' And I'll say things like that, that just sort of gets their brain kind of excited, because it's like, oh, mom's talking different, why she talking like that? Then it gets them sort of listening, right? Because it's different. It's novel. And the brain is trained, wired to pay attention to stuff that's different and unique. Which, unfortunately, is why sometimes when we yell, it gets their attention, because it makes the brain and the amygdala sort of spike up to listen because something is going on. But we obviously don't want to yell. But sometimes what I'll do is I'll go 'Helloooooo.' And I'll say something kind of loud. That's fun, but it still gets their attention. And then it's a playful way to engage them and interact with them.
The second thing you can do that I like to do a lot is do a robot voice. And I'll say, 'We have 30 minutes, or 30 seconds to get inside 30, 29, 28.' And again, they think it's playful and fun. And they're usually a lot more likely to listen.
And then another thing that's really great about when you have to say no to a child, and you want them to comply, like they want to, you know sit on the roof, or they want five more cookies, or they want you to carry them or whatever it is - you give them what they want and fantasy form. So if they're saying, 'I want another cookie,' instead of saying, 'No, you can't have another cookie,' you go 'Oh, I know! Wouldn't it be great if we could have 20 cookies right now? What do you think we could have for breakfast? If we were just eating cookies? Which cookies would we have for breakfast? Wait, what if the whole house was made of cookies? What cookies do you think would go good as the roof? Which ones do you think would be better for walls? Wouldn't it be amazing if chocolate came out of the faucet?' And you can just kind of go run away with them on building a sort of fantasy around whatever it is they want.
'I want you to carry me.' 'Wouldn't it be great if I could just carry you forever? How would we do that? How would I go to work? You would just hold on to me?' And then by doing that, you're connecting with them, but sort of redirecting their attention and putting them sort of in a different way of thinking that they're not so fixated on what you were talking about.
That's today's Three Minute Parenting Playbook. If you want to download the resource that goes with this, you can click the link below and I will see you next time.